ECJ orders Commission to reimburse Elf Aquitaine for MCAA cartel costs. On 1 October 2013, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made an order setting the amount to be paid by the European Commission (Commission) to Elf Aquitaine for costs incurred during its appeal in the monochloracetic acid (MCAA) cartel (Case No 37773). The ECJ set aside a General Court judgment dismissing Elf Aquitaine's appeal related to the MAA cartel and ordered the Commission to pay Elf Aquitaine's costs of the General Court proceedings in September 2011 (C-521/09). As the Commission and Elf Aquitaine were unable to agree on the costs amount, Elf Aquitaine brought the matter before the ECJ. The ECJ has concluded that the appropriate costs amount to EUR 93,000 – substantially less than the EUR 255,620.45 claimed by Elf Aquitaine (Case C-521/09 - P-DEP-Elf Aquitaine v Commission, Order of 1 October 2013).
Phase I Clearances
- M.6979 – DSM R&D Solutions / Maastricht UMC-Holding / Device Company JV (04.10.2013) (simplified review).
- M.7008 – AENA Internacional / AXA PE / LLAGL (09.10.2013)..
- M.6967 – Belgacom / BNP Paribas Fortis / JV (11.10.2013) (IP/19/939).
Phase II Clearances
Commission Olympic Air / Aegean Airlines merger at Phase II (M.6796). On 9 October 2013, the Commission announced the clearance of the acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean Airlines. The Commission previously prohibited the proposed merger in 2011 (M.5830). Following re-examination of the case, the Commission has found that the merger would still give the merged entity a monopoly position on five domestic routes from Athens. However, the Commission has now concluded that Olympic Air is a "failing firm" and as such would be forced to exit the market in the near future due to financial difficulties. Accordingly, the anti-competitive effects of Olympic Air exiting the market as an independent competitor would arise in any event and would not be the result of the transaction.
Competition Commission publishes final report in Cineworld / City Screen merger. On 8 October 2013, the Competition Commission (Commission) published its final report on the completed acquisition by Cineworld Group plc of City Screen Ltd (see Cineworld / City Screen merger inquiry). The final report confirms the CC’s provisional findings that the merger has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition in certain areas. The CC requires that Cineworld divest a cinema in each of the affected areas within a divestiture period (CC Press Release).
Competition Commission publishes final report in Imerys / Goonvean. On 10 October 2013, the CC published its final report in the Imerys / Goonvean merger inquiry. The CC has concluded that the most effective and proportionate remedy would be a price control remedy for five years for kaolin supplied for use in performance-mineral applications to existing Goonvean and Imerys customers (CC Press Release).
Speeches / Publications
Speech by Director General of DG Competition, Alexander Italianer. The ECN, convergence and enforcement of EU competition law: achievements and challenges (European Competition Day Vilnius, 3 October 2013).
European Commission publishes procedural guidance for leniency applicants on making oral statements. Delivering oral statements at DG Competition (08.10.2013).
Speech by Vice President of DG Commission, Joaquín Almunia. Statement on Aegean/Olympic Air merger
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 965/2013 (OJ L 268/7, 10.10.2013) amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with the Al-Qaida network. The Implementing Regulation removes a designated person from Annex I.